Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will leave his current employer, Microsoft. His departure is part of a restructuring program and is not entirely a surprise.
Cloud more important than smartphones
Microsoft will merge the appliance division, previously led by Stephen Elop, with the core Windows OS business. The new division will be led by current Windows CEO, Terry Myerson, which means that spells the end for Stephen Elop.
Elop (51) left Microsoft for Nokia in 2010 to become the very first non-Finnish CEO of that particular company. He entered an alliance with Microsoft which ended in a Microsoft purchase of Nokia's smartphone division in 2013-2014. The deal was worth 7 billion dollars and brought Elop back to Microsoft. Only a few months later, Microsoft announced it would cut 18,000 jobs, mostly Nokia jobs.
Elop was once considered to be a possible Steve Ballmer successor as Microsoft's CEO, a role given to Satya Nadella, who had been in charge of the Cloud division. The new CEO gives the cloud a central role in the company's strategy and he has already expressed a desire to transform the company from an "appliance- and service-focused company" into a "productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world". To quote technology magazine Wired: "Microsoft finally gets that it won't win the smartphone war."
"Stephen and I agree this is the ideal time for him to leave Microsoft. I regret the loss in leadership this means and excitedly look forward to his next destination", Nadella said in a memo to his staff.